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How to determine if your car needs an MOT test

As a responsible car owner in the UK, one of your key responsibilities is ensuring that your vehicle is safe and roadworthy. One crucial aspect of this is the MOT (Ministry of Transport) test. The MOT test is an annual examination that evaluates the safety, emissions, and overall roadworthiness of your vehicle. But how do you know when it’s time for your car to undergo this assessment? In this blog, we’ll guide you through the process of determining whether your car needs an MOT test.


1.Check Your Vehicle’s MOT test Due Date

If your vehicle is older than three years, then it will need an annual MOT test. Unless it is a public service vehicle then the MOT test is required yearly upon the registered date. The garage you purchased from will be able to advise you on when the car is three years old, or it may be in the pack you were given at the point of purchase. You can also check your vehicle’s MOT status online through the government’s official MOT website. You will need your vehicle’s registration number.


2.Watch for the MOT test Reminder

You can request a reminder from DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) to have a reminder set up approximately one month before your MOT test is due. This reminder will be sent to the address that is on record with the DVSA, so make sure your contact details are up to date. If your vehicle has previously been with us for an MOT test or other type of work, a reminder will be sent to you from our database roughly 2-3 weeks in advance of the due date, leaving plenty of time to make a booking.


3.Regular Vehicle Checks

While the MOT test itself is comprehensive, it’s a good idea to conduct regular checks on your vehicle to identify any potential issues before they become significant problems. Pay attention to your vehicle’s oil and coolant levels, lights, brakes, tyres, steering, suspension, and exhaust. Look for any signs of damage, excessive wear, or unusual noises. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it’s best to address it sooner rather than later.


4.Pay Attention to Warning Lights

Modern vehicles are equipped with a variety of warning lights on the dashboard to alert you to potential problems. If you see any warning lights illuminated, especially those related to safety systems like ABS, airbags, or the engine, it’s crucial to have them checked by a professional as they could impact your vehicle’s chances of passing the MOT test, reduce the risk of the vehicle breaking down and more importantly, keep you, and other road users safe.


5.Listen for Unusual Noises

Unusual noises such as grinding brakes, squeaky suspension components, or a rattling exhaust etc, can indicate underlying issues. These noises might not only affect your car’s roadworthiness but also its chances of passing the MOT test. If you hear any odd sounds while driving, consider having your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic.


6.Regular Maintenance

Adhering to your vehicle’s recommended service schedule is essential for keeping it in good condition. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes, fluid checks, and filter replacements, not only prolongs the life of your car but also helps ensure that it remains compliant with MOT standards.



Keeping your car roadworthy and safe for yourself and others on the road is a shared responsibility. The MOT test plays a crucial role in assessing your vehicle’s fitness for driving. By staying proactive and informed about your MOT test due date, conducting regular checks, and addressing any potential issues promptly, you can ensure that your car is always ready for the road. Remember, a well-maintained vehicle not only increases safety but also contributes to a smoother driving experience overall. So, mark your calendar and prioritise your car’s health to breeze through your next MOT test.


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